A close study of industry leaders reveals something seemingly ordinary - yet extraordinary! These are some simple but significant aspects that have been foundational for any successful pursuit or achievement.
While your career journey is guaranteed to be unpredictable, these 6 cornerstones are your 'NorthStar' or compass that predicts your career success!
A positive attitude is the foundation for success in any realm. A positive and progressive response in each situation determines the outcome - not the event itself. A positive attitude involves the following 3 attributes.
Growth Mindset – A growth mindset is being open to new ideas, believing in continuous learning, and that difficulties can be countered with strategy, effort, persistence, and embracing or ignoring criticism.
Focus – Quality work results from quality attention. Choose one task at a time and give it your all. Don't multi-task.
Integrity – Warren Buffett considers integrity as the highest success quality. Integrity is standing by principles even if uncomfortable and unprofitable.
"Your attitude, not aptitude, will determine your altitude."
Hilary Hinton 'Zig Ziglar'
(1926 – 1912)
American author, salesman, and motivational speaker
To get there, we start by defining there. To be successful, we first need to be clear of our direction and destination - and visualize our destination often.
Clarity of our path is not a one-time discovery, but a continuous course-correction through life. Just as a space rocket needs to continuously course correct during its journey.
Clarity involves internal and external clarity. Internal clarity implies self-awareness of our passion, skills, aspiration, and goals - and external clarity entails market awareness, technological advances, industry transformations, and future opportunities.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.”
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
(1835 – 1910)
American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, and publisher
An ounce of action trumps a pound of knowledge and planning. It’s not what you know, but what you do with what you know that matters.
It’s not uncommon to see highly qualified people not succeed in life. It’s obviously not that they know any less. But what finally matters is how many people they are able to impact and benefit through creative and productive application of their knowledge.
"The world doesn’t pay you for what you know;
It pays you for what you do."
American author, motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and entrepreneur
It's amazing (and disappointing) how formal education practically excludes the most important of life skills – financial education. And its absence is evident in the majority struggling with hand-to-mouth sustenance through life.
A few foundational money-lessons learned early in life can make a huge difference for the rest.
Pay Yourself First – A part of all you earn is yours to keep. (From The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason)
Magic of Compounding – Regular and long-term disciplined compounding is the guaranteed way to long-term wealth.
Delayed Gratification – Sacrificing what we want now for what we want in life.
Charity – The spiritual and universal law ensures you receive more later when you give a little now.
Humans are creatures of emotion, impulse, prejudices, and pride. Knowing that our career success depends on how we deal with other humans, communication and people-skills become crucial to our career success. Few communications and people-skill essentials include:
Listening – We have two ears and one mouth simply to listen twice as much as we speak.
Addressing by name – The sweetest word in the world for anyone is their name - so remembering and addressing everyone around us by name immediately gets their favourable attention.
Appreciate – Human crave appreciation more than food and endear those who give that to them. Give genuine appreciation.
& Well Being
A healthy person has a thousand wishes - a sick person has only one.
Health is our greatest wealth and the starting point of any success. Neglecting this is sabotaging a promising future and fulfillment, and cutting life short.
It's the surprisingly simple elements that contribute to our holistic health and well-being - breathing, smiling, drinking enough water, moving, meditating, balanced diet, sleeping well, being in nature, being with family, and importantly, gratitude!
Communication & People-Skills
Health & Well-Being
Remind yourself constantly of these 6 ordinary, yet extraordinary drivers and predictors of your career success.
Small steps of improvement in these realms each day create a successful day. And such days will start shaping your successful career!
How to Select or Re-validate Your Career-Choice
Your ideal career is at the confluence of the dynamic trinity of - Passion, Skills, and Market (demand). Combining these factors will help discover, validate, or reaffirm your career selection.
Honing in on your ideal career choice is a most significant decision that needs continuous and wider research of markets, constant learning, discussions with relevant experts, and ideally, getting your ‘hands dirty’ in the chosen field.
With the ongoing radical transformation of industries, multi-skills and multiple career changes will become the norm - and so too this exercise of re-selecting, re-validating, and continual course-correction throughout your career.
"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."
Stephen W. Hawking
(1942 - 2018)
British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author